The Finch Center for Teaching and Learning will award up to $15,000 in grants to full time faculty who want to pursue and assess year-long innovative projects with potential for improving teaching and learning in their courses or programs. These grants replace the Summer Scholarship Program by focusing on innovation, increasing the funding, and changing the allocations and timeline for implementation. $10,000 will be available for projects on all types of innovative approaches related to teaching and learning; $5,000 will be specifically allocated for projects focused on the innovative use of technology to improve teaching and learning. We anticipate that approximately five faculty members will typically receive $2,000 for innovations that span all categories and two faculty members will receive $2,500 grants specifically allocated for technology projects. The technology awards are slightly larger because of anticipated technology purchases.

These grants will be announced in April of 2015 and will extend from June 1, 2015 to May, 31, 2016. Half of the awarded funds will be available at the start of the project and the other half will be awarded at the mid-point in January. Grantees will be required to present a “mid-term” progress report at Faculty Development Day in January, 2016, a presentation on the final results at the annual Fall, 2016 SoTL Conference, and a final written report and abstract by November, 2016.

Applications must address each of the following:

  1. Overall description of the project
  2. Statement of your specific goals for the project, i.e. what do you hope to accomplish as a result of this work?
  3. Rationale for pursuing this project, the literature reviewed that supports this as innovative work, and rationale for the amount of funds requested.
  4. Plan of action and timeline
  5. Plan for assessing the impact of your project on your teaching and your students’ learning. (What kind of data/evidence will you collect?
  6. Discussion of the potential this project has for enhancing your practice and the learning of your students.
  7. Discussion of how this project may be applicable to enhancing the practice and student learning of others across Maryville and beyond.

Applications will be selected using the following criteria:

  1. Clarity of the project description – 10%
  2. Specificity and attainability of project goals – 5%
  3. Strength of the rationale to explain the significance of the work and strength of the justification for funds requested – 20%
  4. Practicality and specificity of the action plan/timeline – 5%
  5. Logic and validity of your assessment plan – 20%
  6. Potential of the project to enhance the applicant’s own teaching practices and the learning of his/her students – 20%
  7. Potential of the project to impact the thinking and enhance teaching practices and student learning beyond the applicant’s own classroom – 20%

Anticipated FAQ:

What kinds of proposals are most likely to be funded?

  • The kind of proposal that is likely to be funded is one which will be exploring an innovative approach that clearly goes beyond current practice and that has strong potential to increase and deepen student learning.
  • The kind of proposal that is likely to be funded would involve active student involvement and opportunities for experiential student learning.
  • The kind of proposal that is likely to be funded is one which may positively impact programs as well as impacting a single course.
  • Given limited funds, requests for travel to attend and/or present at professional conferences will not be funded; these requests should be directed to the faculty member’s department or school.
  • Proposals do not need to be based upon Scholarship of Teaching and Learning  projects; however, all proposals must specify their potential for positively affecting teaching and learning.

Who is eligible to apply?

  • All full time faculty members are invited and encouraged to apply, including those who have been recipients of Summer Scholarship funds in the past.
  • Applicants do not need to be past or present members of the Scholarship of Teaching and Learning Seminar Program.

What kind of financial documentation must recipients submit?

  • Grants will be awarded based on the merit of the project and faculty members will not be required to submit receipts.